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Tom Pickering: Jazz on the periphery of the periphery


Boden, MJ, Tom Pickering: Jazz on the periphery of the periphery, Jazz Research Journal, 10, (1-2) pp. 109-125. ISSN 1753-8637 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2016 Equinox Publishing Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1558/jazz.v10i1-2.29128


This article explores the initial encounter with jazz by Tom Pickering, and documents his 􀁐usical de􀁙elo􀁓􀁐ent until the first 􀀤ustralian 􀀭a􀁝􀁝 􀀦on􀁙ention in 1􀀜46. The 􀀤􀀭􀀦 is a useful demarcation in time: the broad division in Australian jazz, which still exists, between those pursuing more traditional styles and those focused on modern styles (bebop and beyond) can be traced to this event. Through the examination of the early career of Pickering, the cultural transfer of jazz is explored. I argue that given the sociological environment, scarcity of materials and sheer enthusiasm for the American models, Australian jazz has at its core a distinctive sound that is nevertheless closely related to its American roots. Pickering represents the typical encounter and pursuit of jazz in Australia during the first half of the twentieth centur􀁜􀀝 a teenage introduction to dance 􀁐usic and hot 􀁐usic, experimentation with instrumental performance given little to no tuition, appropriation of the music by imitation of recordings individually and within a group setting, and the relentless consumption of all available information connected to the art form. By taking Pickering as a case study, I will demonstrate the initial period of exposure and appropriation that is common to many Australian jazz musicians, which was crucial in the formation of an Australian jazz sound. Through the dissection of the developmental processes of a typical Australian jazz musician in the former half of the twentieth century, this article sheds new light on the identity of Australian jazz and demonstrates modalities concerning the international movement of musical form.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia; Australian jazz; jazz; Pickering; Tasmania; Tasmanian jazz
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Music
Research Field:Musicology and ethnomusicology
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:Music
UTAS Author:Boden, MJ (Mr Matthew Boden)
ID Code:111232
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2016-09-06
Last Modified:2018-03-13

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